As the school year winds down, many college students are seeking their first professional opportunities in the form of internships. Padgett PayrollSM, small business payroll specialists, has put together this guide to determining if student interns are a good fit for your small business.
When evaluating if an internship program will work in your organization, ask yourself the following questions:
Do you have clear goals for the internship program?
Internships are used to teach students skills in their prospective fields, not as free labor for businesses. Internships are most rewarding for students and businesses when objectives and benchmarks are established. Do you have any projects or programs you need help with? Perhaps you are launching a new marketing campaign or launching a new product. These situations are ideal for interns to work on, so they can gain real world experience and skills.
What skills are you looking for?
Next, ask yourself what skills your interns need in order to participate in your program or project. In the marketing campaign example above, it would be best if the interns had communication skills and some marketing classes under their belts. Determine what tasks the intern will be responsible for and what level of knowledge they will need in order to complete them. Be as specific as possible.
Do you have time to devote training, mentoring and managing interns?
Interns need more guidance than typical employees. You will need to train them and provide ongoing feedback. Think of yourself as their mentor instead of manager – your job is to teach them new skills and allow them to use those new skills under your supervision.
What do you have of value to offer an intern?
What can interns gain from their time with you? Think of benefits you can offer, aside from money, since most internships are in exchange for school credit and perhaps a small stipend. What skills will they learn with you? What networking opportunities can you offer them? Will they be able to use your project or program in their portfolio? Will you be able to offer a full time position after graduation?
Do short-term employees fit with your goals?
Internships last for a year, at the longest. Most are for the length of a semester – three to four months. Will your goals fit within that time frame?
Now that you have determined if an internship program will work in your business, Padgett PayrollSM is here to help with all your payroll service needs: contact us today!